Drawing from the Americana tradition and firmly grounded with a pleasing pop sensibility, the performing songwriter team, Jen and Scott Smith, and their band, Naked Blue, have become a mainstay on the folk/pop scene. They quit their day jobs in 1991 and have been writing, recording & performing music ever since. The strength of their songwriting has allowed them to easily transition between intimate acoustic performances and full band shows on some major stages including DAR Constitution Hall (DC), Webster Hall (NY) and The Bottom Line (London).
Scott & Jen's obvious joy & camaraderie on stage together and easy rapport with their audience are the backdrop to their trademark performance, defined by Jen's instantly recognizable voice and Scott's passionate and impeccable guitar work. Over the years they've developed a reputation for great songwriting as well and their music has been featured in film & television spots on The Young & the Restless, Brooklyn South, Jack & Jill, That's Life, America's Top Model, Mein Leben & Ich and in the films The Girl Next Door, About Sarah, June, Sex Drugs & Democracy, The Smokers and Second to Die.
With previous AAA and community radio success in the U.S., Europe and U.K. from their past 5 releases, 2013 will see them back out on the road and the airwaves. Their new CD, 'Weightless' is a toss up of authentic Americana, purely satisfying pop hooks and a some unabashedly good rock n roll guitar work supporting Jen's smoky, intimate and award winning voice.
Singer-songwriter Todd Wright spent the early part of this century with his band GetawayCar who's song "Superstar" was the soundtrack for the 2003 Pontiac Vibe. The band had to turn down the opening slot at the legendary HFStival in their hometown of Washington, DC when Todd landed a gig playing guitar with then-Atlantic Recording Artist Lucy Woodward. He spent most of 2003 with Lucy promoting her debut album "While You Can" in the US, Japan and New Zealand. From 2004-2006 Todd was the touring keyboardist/guitarist with the Pat McGee Band in support of their Warner Brothers release "Save Me." In addition to these artists Todd has been a fill in guitarist for Sony/Or artist Adam Richman and Better Than Ezra. In late 2006 Wright left the touring world focus on writing and producing. He has written songs for Aaron Barnhart (Bonded/Universal), Courage Call (Epitaph), Lucy Woodward (Verve), Chelsea Lee (Atlantic), Pat McGee (Rockwood) and Toby Lightman (T Killa). He also a song being recorded by the 2009 winner of X Factor Holland Lisa Hordijk for her upcoming Sony release.
Featured on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts, Voice of America and TEDx; songwriter, vocalist and live looper, Margot MacDonald embodies a one-woman band. A long time guitarist and pianist, Margot’s instrumentation has expanded to include unconventional vocal accompaniments created live thru the use of a loop pedal. Haunting, powerful and indie-pop driven, Margot’s performances make you forget the technology she hones, as you lose yourself in layers of lush vocals and striking melodies.
Margot is Washington City Paper's "Best Singer" of 2014, a three-time winner of the Washington Area Music Association 'Artist of the Year' award, a recipient of DC’s Power 30 Under 30 award, and an Artist-in-Residence alumna at the Music Center at Strathmore. Now 23, her latest album, Canvas, is quickly gaining critical acclaim.
Margot began her music career with the Washington National Opera at age 10, and by 12 was releasing her first album of original material. Since then, she has put out a second, third and fourth album (funded through the gracious support of her fans, raising $15,000 via IndieGogo), opened for national acts, and played both the SXSW and CMJ Music Festivals, and such venues as the Kennedy Center, 9:30 Club, Lincoln Theatre, Wolf Trap, The Birchmere, Strathmore, Rams Head Live, The Bitter End, Rockwood Music Hall 2 and the United Palace Theatre in NYC. She hosted the official BMI showcase series in DC, served on the board of directors for the Songwriters’ Association of Washington, and has led GRAMMY U and other songwriting workshops.
In her spare time, Margot supports nonprofits such as Musicians on Call and More Than Me, regularly performs at charity events, and advocates for the arts in DC. She has also been known to roast individual marshmallows, anytime, anywhere.
Mike Clem (of Eddie from Ohio)
Born in Atlanta on January 6, 1966. I'm the middle of three boys, with all the middle child hang ups. The family moved to Northern Virginia in 1968, and with the exception of the college years, have been there ever since. Since 1991, I've been playing bass, guitar, harp, and singing and writing songs for the folk-rock quartet, Eddie from Ohio. We've played all but 13 states in the U.S., and have even dipped our toes in Canada & Mexico. We've made nine CDs and a gazillion t-shirts.
Ever wondered what it might look like if a Mohawk banged a mullet and had an Altoid fetish?
Piercing vocals, half-finished tattoos, and a man-bag….all things you’ll find coming from Nate. The lyrical inspiration for all of Welbilt’s songs come from the mind of Nate Ihara. If you think he’s talented with a pen and a pick, you should see him with a spatula and a spoon. Nate plays a Fender Stratocaster through his new Vox amp and also uses his custom Budweiser guitar whenever possible.
Nate was originally the songwriter/guitarist/lead vocalist for Welbilt and is now going his own way as a solo artist.
His official site is http://www.myspace.com/nateiharamusic.
Cal Everett is a triple threat singer/songwriter/ musician who was a founding member of 80's power pop sensations Four Out Of 5 Doctors. He appears with Still Surfin'a Beach Boys tribute and has been part of Zip, and One Stop.
Patty Reese is a fan favorite and critic’s choice in the Mid-Atlantic region and over the years and she's collected enough WAMMIES (Washington Area Music Awards) to fill the a major DC pothole. Awards include Album of the Year, Artist of the Year and Roots Rock Band and Vocalist as well as national songwriting awards.
Reese is excited to get her brand new and fourth release Let In The Sun out to the world. Patty's previous release, Strong Medicine, (WAMA's Album of the Year) held the #1 position on the AirPlay Direct Global Radio Indicator Charts™ (displaying the top singles downloaded for airplay by radio programmers) for 4 weeks and has been played on over 700 stations worldwide.
An acoustic and intimate house concert, rocking the house at the Birchmere, commanding a standing ovation at Maryland's Strathmore Music Hall on the Woodstock tribute, that's where you might have seen Patty Reese and you can be sure she was lighting the place up with uninhibited effervescence. Her strong songwriting, dynamic vocals and solid guitar work make her a powerful solo act — or add in a mega talented band of music vets and lookout below!
Comparisons have been made, that Reese claims as influences, including Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan.
Proven a great match up with national Blues and Roots luminaries, Patty has supported many including Beth Hart, Delbert McClinton, Tab Benoit, Jimmie Vaughan and Dr John.
Her January 2017 release Let In The Sun on the Azalea City Recordings label, just keeps delivering song after song with clever, timely subjects and solid musical prowess. Aside from the title track “Let In The Sun” other standout songs are “Awesome Sauce” incorporating a New Orleans “second line” groove. The song title itself is a good analogy for the mix of musical styles, love and energy that is delivered here. “Good Neighbor”, a song everyone can relate to, (you might find your head nodding yes and chuckling over the truth in this upbeat sophisticated shuffle) takes familiar thoughts and winds them unpredictably into a rant of the good and bad things about neighbors.
The CD features guitarist Jonathan Sloane; bassist Sonny Petrosky; drummer Andy Hamburger and Tommy Lepson (co-producer with Reese).
“Music has always been my inspiration, my challenge, and a respite and safe harbor to express my sorrow, pain, anger, love, humor, and everything that makes us human. I’ve always had a strong desire to explore, grow and improve. I love the work of being a musician — meeting new friends and fellow music lovers, a life surrounded by musicians and fellow creatives, being in a new place every night — it's always new, always fresh.
“This collection of songs is an honest representation of who I am, where I come from, and where my heart is. The Blues remains the rock on which I have built every song I've ever written. I also love to incorporate songs by artists that inspire me and this time it was Steve Earle and Bob Dylan.”
Her powerhouse vocals, strong work ethic and sharply honed songwriting skills have led her to the release of Let In The Sun, her most captivating work to date. Be assured, the future in store for Patty with this release is already bright.
John Jennings' greatest asset is his knack for making other musicians sound good. A longtime member of Mary-Chapin Carpenter's band, with whom he's recorded 11 Top Ten singles, Jennings has played guitars (acoustic, electric, slide, lap, steel, and baritone), synthesizers, organ, piano, and percussion, and sung background vocals and/or produced albums for Carpenter, the Indigo Girls, John Gorka, the Rankin Family, Cheryl Wheeler, Janis Ian, Iris Dement, George Jones, Beausoleil, Robin & Linda Williams, Bill Morrissey, and Auldridge, Reid & Coleman. With the release of his debut solo album, Buddy, Jennings successfully stepped into the limelight.
Raised in Virginia, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C., Jennings grew up listening to everything from classical music and big-band swing to country music and rock & roll. Although he took piano and trumpet lessons as a youngster, he steered toward the guitar after hearing the Beatles. His performing debut came with a rock band in the sixth grade, and he continued to perform in the 1970s with Bill Holland & Rent's Due and Big Yankee Dollar, a group that mostly played his original songs.
Although he concentrated on writing advertising jingles in the early '80s, Jennings' musical career took off after Bill Danoff (of the Starland Vocal Band) introduced him to Mary-Chapin Carpenter. Performing together in the Washington, D.C., area, Jennings and Carpenter began to garner attention. An album recorded to be sold at their shows was reissued by Columbia Records as Carpenter's 1987 debut album, Hometown Girl.
Jennings took a temporary hiatus from Carpenter's band in 1993 and began work on his solo album; co-produced with Bob Dawson, Buddy was completed three years later. Jennings has remained one of Washington, D.C.'s most accomplished musicians, and has received area music awards (Wammies) as Producer of the Year (1987, 1989, 1991, and 1995), Best Folk/Bluegrass Instrumentalist (1991), Best Folk/Bluegrass Male Vocalist (1991), Best Contemporary Folk/Irish Instrumentalist (1992), Best Contemporary Folk/Irish Male Vocalist (1992), and Video of the Year ("Everybody Loves Me," 1997). I Belong to You followed in 1998.
Jelly Roll Mortals
Depending on the show, Jelly Roll Mortals are some or all of:
Arch Alcantara: Guitar, Vocals (Wes Tucker & the Skillets, Lianna)
Kentucky Jim Faris: Upright Bass (Charlie Chesterman & the Legendary Motorbikes, Dave Sammarco Band)
Scott McKnight: Guitar, Vocals (The Neighbors, Naughty Pine, Kevin Johnson & the Linemen, Last Train Home)
Bill Williams: Guitar, Mandolin, Fauxbro, Dojo, Octave Mando, Harmonica, Vocals (Naughty Pine, Kevin Johnson & the Linemen, Last Train Home)
Steve Woehrle: Drums (Naughty Pine, The Neighbors)
Music royalty hailing from the northern country of Finland, Ruut has journeyed far and wide in search of her authentic sound. a natural-born songwriter, Ruut is the granddaughter of world-famous opera composer, Aulis Sallinen. She discovered she could play piano by ear and started writing original songs at age 7.
When Ruut was 12, she moved to Budapest with her missionary mother, who was deeply involved in a fundamentalist Christian group. though her family lived in small apartments and gave away most of their belongings, Ruut’s gift continued to flourish, as she would write songs on a borrowed keyboard. Ruut moved to the States with her mom and sisters when she was 16, and remained a faithful member of the Christian group until she finally embarked on her solitary quest to find her true voice as a writer and performer at age 23.
The journey brought her to Nashville, New York and Los Angeles, where she tirelessly attempted to break into the pop scene with hit-makers such as Billy Steinberg, Mike Daly, Jeff Trott, Rob Hoffman, Heather Holley, and The Matrix. continually forced to push her own boundaries, Ruut’s seemingly futile search finally led her to confidant and mentor, award-winning LA sculptor, Tanya Ragir, whose legendary sound-engineer brother, Frank Wolf, was able to capture raw, live piano-vocal performances of songs that Ruut had composed in a secluded room housing a 9-foot Steinway concert grand piano. This collection of songs was later released independently, and these “steinway sessions”, with Ragir’s hand-drawn picture of the artist on the cover, caught the attention of other industry veterans, including Don Was, Ken Caillat and the late Greg Ladanyi.
“The Steinway Sessions” not only delivered her back to her musical roots, but to the Baltimore area, where she became a mother, and to the esteemed Wood and Stone Room, where Ruut recorded a full-length studio album, “Glimpse”. The 2013 release has already received numerous outstanding reviews, and Ruut’s fan base is quickly growing as she tours nearby her hometown of Baltimore with her band. Ruut has been called “a star” by NPR’s Kurt Andersen and has supported international acts, such as Passenger, Hem, Trevor Hall, Brett Dennen, Kat Edmonson, Slaid Cleaves and Sixpence None the Richer.
When Ruut aced a meeting with a high-powered executive at Sony Records her first time in LA, she was offered a publishing deal with a juicy advance based on polished demos of pop-songs she had just co-written. But the meeting inevitably led to Ruut performing one of her songs at the piano, and the executive was not alone in wondering if she was to be more than just a pop-writer. As Ruut encountered this response meeting after meeting, she eventually convinced herself that to profoundly make an impact on her generation, she would have to keep searching, writing and working. this ceaseless dedication has made Ruut an artist to remain.
Ty Braddock has been honing his honky-tonk craft around the dimly lit clubs of the east coast region for the past several years now. It looks as if this past year could be the springboard he needed to jump into the mainstream lights where he belongs. His new CD entitled "Mr. Honky Tonk" features such stellar stars as Merle Haggard's ace guitarist Redd Volkaert, recent Grammy nominee Bill Kirchen of Commander Cody fame, and Austin Texas pedal steel guitar master Ricky Davis to name a few. Ruthie Logsdon (Multiple WAMA award winning country female vocalist) also makes a duet appearance on the project.
Many are calling him "the voice" of country music on the Washington DC music scene these days and for good reason. Picture listening to someone with Waylon Jennings power and range, Johnny Cash's attitude, and a George Jones like softness to deliver a heartfelt ballad that will surely get the eye faucets running. It's real folks, and he delivers the goods with great passion. He is engaging, polite, and commands a great presence on stage with an often tongue in cheek sense of humor.
Scott Kurt grew up in America’s Rust Belt, and the grittiness of his roots is evident in every aspect of his music. From his debut album, “Ragged But Right,” recorded with his band Memphis 59, to his first solo effort “Down This Road,” he captures the essence of hard living, hard work and hard times in deeply personal lyrics delivered by a whiskey-tinged barroom voice wrapped up inside a whole lot of full-tilt country-rock guitar. Scott has opened for The Zac Brown Band, Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore and many other national acts. He is currently promoting his latest single “American Man” which reached #34 on the iTunes New Country chart.